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Old 02-01-2013, 02:59 AM   #1
foxtrapper OP
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Harley Turn Signal Switch Conversion

I want to convert my Harley over to a Japanese bike style turnsignal switch. I know, I'm supposed to love the Harley design of a button on each side of the handlebars, I don't. It definately wreaks havoc with me and my braking for a right hand turn.

I've been looking around for someone making a kit or such that would let me switch over to the single switch on the left bar, like every other bike I've ever had in my life. But darned if I can find such a critter.

Surely I'm not the only person who wants this?
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:53 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
I want to convert my Harley over to a Japanese bike style turnsignal switch. I know, I'm supposed to love the Harley design of a button on each side of the handlebars, I don't. It definately wreaks havoc with me and my braking for a right hand turn.

I've been looking around for someone making a kit or such that would let me switch over to the single switch on the left bar, like every other bike I've ever had in my life. But darned if I can find such a critter.

Surely I'm not the only person who wants this?
Just change the left switch out with a dirtbike switch (a lot of Harleys have 1" bars vice the 7/8" you find on japanese bikes)

You'll have to rewire but that shouldn't be that complicated.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
Just change the left switch out with a dirtbike switch (a lot of Harleys have 1" bars vice the 7/8" you find on japanese bikes)

You'll have to rewire but that shouldn't be that complicated.
I believe the Harley will be one inch (1") handle bars and that some new-ish big-ish metric cruisers also use the "fat" 1 inch bars instead of the usual Japanese 7/8". Do some reading and see if this is true for more than the one example I could quickly find ("Honda Shadow ACE" - http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/53-...hadow-ace.html seems to confirm this).

I think newer Harleys may have more complex switch wiring that the pre-1990 stuff that I have played with. Notably, there maybe special things like turning on hazards (push both left & right at the same time?) that won't work with the new single switch setup and require some thinking.

Good luck!
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:18 PM   #4
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I believe the Harley will be one inch (1") handle bars and that some new-ish big-ish metric cruisers also use the "fat" 1 inch bars instead of the usual Japanese 7/8". Do some reading and see if this is true for more than the one example I could quickly find ("Honda Shadow ACE" - http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/53-...hadow-ace.html seems to confirm this).

I think newer Harleys may have more complex switch wiring that the pre-1990 stuff that I have played with. Notably, there maybe special things like turning on hazards (push both left & right at the same time?) that won't work with the new single switch setup and require some thinking.

Good luck!

Like I said a switch is a switch, if there are enough poles it doesn't matter, its just how its wired up.

.....of course Harley copyrights their manuals so I don't know off the top of my head, but assuming they are momentary action single pole single throw, you get a double throw/double pole and holding it down would be the turn signal activation.

Most single switches are double pole double throw, two wires per side and the hold down grounds it. At worst you have to putz around with the relay. Right now my Speed Triple has a trailer turn signal relay because I'll be damned if I was going to pay Triumph $75 + shipping for a damn signal relay, I'll pay autozone $13

Anyone have a service manual and a know how to read a scat?
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tripped1 View Post
Like I said a switch is a switch, if there are enough poles it doesn't matter, its just how its wired up.
My initial point was that on the original "left on left bar, right on right bar" is that it's possible to engage BOTH switches at once. If you replace that with a "flip left or flip right" you can't flip it both ways to get your hazards on.

Wiring is actually likely more complicated than that on newer (post 2000?) bikes ; the turn signals may be handled by the TSM / TSSM (turn signals and security module all in one!) - http://www.harleyshoptalk.net/forums...howtopic=29500. Things like security, tilt sensors and "module" can get annoyed pretty easily. See www.jpcycles.com/instructions/pdf/380-215.pdf for a procedure to reset the TSM / TSSM. I'm not saying this is part of what you need to do but it does show that that module might need a reset if you change things and resetting it reads like a video game cheat (Off, on, off, on, off, on, left, left, right, right, right, left, hold left, ignition on).

There is a standard - http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-199...sec571-123.xml "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 123 standardizes
motorcycle controls to minimize the risk of crashes resulting from operator errors in the use of controls." If a manufacturer doesn't follow it they can apply for a "Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance" http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2003...l/03-22041.htm

msells screwed with this post 02-11-2013 at 06:35 AM Reason: added FMVSS links
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by msells View Post
My initial point was that on the original "left on left bar, right on right bar" is that it's possible to engage BOTH switches at once. If you replace that with a "flip left or flip right" you can't flip it both ways to get your hazards on.

Wiring is actually likely more complicated than that on newer (post 2000?) bikes ; the turn signals may be handled by the TSM / TSSM (turn signals and security module all in one!) - http://www.harleyshoptalk.net/forums...howtopic=29500. Things like security, tilt sensors and "module" can get annoyed pretty easily. See www.jpcycles.com/instructions/pdf/380-215.pdf for a procedure to reset the TSM / TSSM. I'm not saying this is part of what you need to do but it does show that that module might need a reset if you change things and resetting it reads like a video game cheat (Off, on, off, on, off, on, left, left, right, right, right, left, hold left, ignition on).

There is a standard - http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-199...sec571-123.xml "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 123 standardizes
motorcycle controls to minimize the risk of crashes resulting from operator errors in the use of controls." If a manufacturer doesn't follow it they can apply for a "Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance" http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2003...l/03-22041.htm

All well and good, completely besides the point though, there is only input and output, if you can make them match you can use whatever you want to switch it. Which means an adequate number of poles, no more no less.

The mechanical means simply doesn't matter.

and you certainly can flip it "on" both ways at worst you have to add a relay, but that is far from difficult work. A double throw/double pole can be wired to act independantly or with a common (such as pressing it down) that actives both sides. Its simply a matter of wiring.
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Old 02-01-2013, 04:26 AM   #7
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BMW has/had the same until just recently going to the one switch does it all design. Give it a genuine effort by practicing and it becomes second nature in no time. Used to have bike with shift levers on opposite sides, etc., and it is livable.

Other than that, plus 1 on Tripped 1's suggestion and I would first make sure the wiring mods were compatible with canbus/sensors/ridebywire/etc. if this is a newer bike, older would be fairly simple.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:12 AM   #8
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BMW has/had the same until just recently going to the one switch does it all design. Give it a genuine effort by practicing and it becomes second nature in no time.
I have to agree. After many years of riding bikes with the typical Japanese style turn signal switchgear, I bought my GS. After years of reading magazine testers bitching about the BMW style switches I fully expected to hate it like everyone else seemed to. But after a relatively short time I got used to it and it was no big deal, and I began to wonder what all the hoopla was about. Then after a longer period of time I jumped on one of my other bikes with the "normal" switchgear and I felt lost!

I then realized that I had become a convert and begin to believe that the BMW designers were "right" in designing a superior system. I was actually more than a little disappointed when I read that BMW had changed to the more "normal" system on their newer bikes.

Then, I got my H-D and discovered that the H-D designers had one upped BMW with their system. The H-D, two button system with auto cancel is better than the three button, non-self cancelling signals on my GS, IMO.

Just activate your signal a little earlier, before you begin braking and then just forget about it and let the self cancel do it's thang. I also like the push once to activate and push again to cancel, feature on the H-D, over the separate cancel button found on the BMW.

So, I'd say to give it a little time to get used to it and it should become second nature. A lot of things about riding a motorcycle are foreign when we first ride one, but as you know, it all becomes instinctive with a little saddle time. Nothing really different about getting used to something a little new, IMO.

Other than that, I'm not sure what options you have. AFAIK, H-D is unusual in using the 1" bars. Every dirt bike I've ever dealt with or owned had 7/8" bars. Even Buell used 7/8" bars, although they did use the left side does all turn signal switch. I don't know of any manufacturer that uses 1" bars and the standard turn signal switchgear, unless you can find another line of cruisers that uses that combination. Do any of the Japanese cruisers use 1" bars? What about Victory? The only other option I can think of would be to convert your 1' bars to 7/8" bars, but that would require changing out all of the bar controls, which would be expensive!

I'll wish you good luck in getting used to them first, and then if that fails, I wish you luck in finding a solution that works for you.

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Old 02-01-2013, 07:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Randy View Post
Then, I got my H-D and discovered that the H-D designers had one upped BMW with their system. The H-D, two button system with auto cancel is better than the three button, non-self cancelling signals on my GS, IMO.

Just activate your signal a little earlier, before you begin braking and then just forget about it and let the self cancel do it's thang. I also like the push once to activate and push again to cancel, feature on the H-D, over the separate cancel button found on the BMW.



As far as I know HD has had these system for at least the last 13 years. My first HD, a 2000 Sporty, had the same setup as my '12 Road Glide. I had been off bikes for 20 years before that Sporty and it wasn't until later when I picked up a Triumph followed by a Suzuki that I realized the other mfgs didn't design their systems like HD.

Personally I much prefer the HD design with the self cancelling feature as it's just a quick bump with the thumb rather than a push left or push right on other bikes and no need to hit again to stop.

Like Randy says, just tap the button with your thumb right before you begin your braking and forget about it.
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:03 PM   #10
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As far as I know HD has had these system for at least the last 13 years.
The two button system has been around for at least thirty years.

The self-canceling feature showed up in the early 1990s.

My 1994 Sportster had the feature.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:14 AM   #11
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Just activate your signal a little earlier, before you begin braking and then just forget about it and let the self cancel do it's thang.
This. If as you say, "It definately wreaks havoc with me and my braking for a right hand turn", then you aren't giving people much warning before you start into the turn. How is the guy behind you supposed to know you're going to be slowing for a turn if you're already reaching for the brake before you turn on the indicator? It's a pretty simple matter to have the turn signal activated before you ever need to reach for the brake.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bobw View Post
BMW has/had the same until just recently going to the one switch does it all design. Give it a genuine effort by practicing and it becomes second nature in no time. Used to have bike with shift levers on opposite sides, etc., and it is livable.

Other than that, plus 1 on Tripped 1's suggestion and I would first make sure the wiring mods were compatible with canbus/sensors/ridebywire/etc. if this is a newer bike, older would be fairly simple.

CanBUS only works between the gauge and the ECM/sensors most of the time. A switch is a switch is a switch, it doesn't really matter what you are plugging them into as long as it has the right number of poles.
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:38 AM   #13
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You'll get used to it if you give it time. Thirty years of owning bikes that had the usual setup took me some time but now the Harley system is normal to me.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:15 AM   #14
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https://www.kisantech.com/index.php?cat_id=4

Self cancelling signal for damn near anything.
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Old 02-01-2013, 07:16 AM   #15
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https://www.kisantech.com/index.php?cat_id=4

Self cancelling signal for damn near anything.
The Harley signals are already self cancelling. They come that way from the factory.
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